Domestic abuse can take many forms and is not limited to physical abuse. Domestic abuse also includes sexual, psychological or financial abuse that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of controlling behaviour. Domestic abuse may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’. Domestic abuse can also take place in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships, and can involve other family members, including children.
Help is available to victims of abuse. The court can make Non-Molestation Orders (injunctions) which can prohibit (forbid) the other party from using or threatening violence, approaching within a certain perimeter of the victim’s home or communicating with the victim. Under a Non-Molestation Order, the court can also prohibit the respondent from instructing or encouraging third parties to do these things on his/her behalf. Breach of a Non-Molestation Order is a criminal offence and the police have an automatic power to arrest a perpetrator.
The court can also make Occupation Orders, which can exclude a perpetrator from the family home, or prohibit the perpetrator from returning to a shared property in the event the parties have already separated and harassment and/or abuse is continuing post-separation.
Applications for Non-Molestation Orders and Occupation orders can be made to the County Court on an emergency basis without notice to the perpetrator.
For more information on Domestic Violence, please visit the Legal Resource Centre – Click HERE
At Marsden Rawsthorn our large family law department is committed to assisting victims of domestic abuse, and are able to offer appointments on an emergency basis at our Preston and Chorley offices. We work closely with local domestic violence services and offer public funding (legal aid) to those who satisfy the Legal Services Commission criteria.